Johannesburg-based event promoter Morris Roda has been accused of booking but not paying two South African artists listed on the line-up for the Joburg Live Loud concert set to happen on Saturday 10 December 2016. On her social media accounts, singer Shekhinah Donnell announced that she and Kyle Deutsch would not be performing as was advertised.
In response to a fan asking for more details on her Instagram post, Donnell said: "They just put us on the line up no one was responding to emails or calls? So eventually we assumed we out [sic]."
National radio station 5FM hosted its inaugural Joburg Live Loud concert in 2015 with a crowd of 12 000 enjoying a line up of South Africa's top acts. In September 2016, they took the event to Cape Town for the first time and are gearing up to host its Johannesburg leg for the second year on Saturday 10 December 2016 at Marks Park in Emmarentia. This year's Johannesburg event was rescheduled from its original date of Saturday 10 September. The station said that the "change of date allows them to add two more incredible acts to the already impressive line-up".
The line-up features the likes of Black Coffee, rapper AKA, Cassper Nyovest and 5FM DJs.
Terribly disappointed by this guys!! Sorry for any misleading information regarding Sheks and I being on the line up and performing. https://t.co/E2Uuk1BL6k— Kyle Deutsch (@kyle_deutsch) December 7, 2016
When contacted for comment on his late cancellation, Deutsch told The Huffington Post South Africa that they had been dealing with a promoter who had initially booked them, but never paid their deposits nor confirmed with them that they would be performing. The promoter appears to be Morris Roda, the owner of Morris Roda Productions (MRP). He is listed as an event partner on Joburg Live Loud promotional material. He was also confirmed by 5fm as the promoter of the event in the course of queries made The Huffington Post South Africa.
"It has happened to us before, in Polokwane and Cape Town, where we had been booked but also had to make a late cancellation because no one confirmed with us," Deutsch said. According to Deutsch, he and Donnell were booked for the initial September 10 date for Joburg Live Loud, but did not have their performances confirmed before the postponement. "We were booked, but never paid our deposit, and then the event was postponed [until December] and it still has not been confirmed." According to Deutsch, he made the decision to announce a late cancellation because he had no clarity on his performance and did not want to disappoint fans who might arrive at the event expecting to see him and Donnell. Despite various attempts to contact her, Donnell could not be reached for comment.
Roda has previously been implicated in "failed concerts, artists and suppliers who were not paid and a lawsuit that led to a liquidation". In 2009, Roda faced investigation by the Hawks over allegations that he had received R3 million of the R4 million allocated to his company to organise a Miriam Makeba tribute concert that never materialised.
Roda was also named as one of the event organisers for the Thank You SABC concert that took place at Orlando Stadium on 10 September 2016. This is the same date that the original Joburg Live Loud event was due to take place, but it is unclear whether the event was moved to 10 December 2016 as a result of the Thank You SABC concert. MRP is listed as a producer on promotional material for both events.
When questioned on its contracting of Roda despite allegations and investigations against him, the SABC would only comment on Roda's work with 5FM's Joburg Live Loud 2015 event saying that "the event the station had in partnership with MRP did not have such allegations."
The did not respond to our question of why, despite public investigations against him, the SABC continues to do business with Roda.
SABC media relations manager Mmoni Seapolelo would not comment on the contracting of MRP, saying it was 5fm's decision. "The engagements the station had with MRP last year were on the Live Loud concert and that was successful and Morris is not hired by the SABC. 5FM is a partner of MRP that is organising the Joburg Live Loud concert."
5fm told HuffPost SA they could not comment and referred all queries back to the SABC, who said: "Our previous response is the final response to your questions."
After numerous attempts to contact Roda, The Huffington Post South Africa was told that he would give comment but could subsequently not be reached. We will update the story should we receive further comment or feedback from Roda.
At the time of writing, Deutsch and Donnell were still reportedly in negotiations with 5FM. As Deutsch told The Huffington Post South Africa, "5FM is trying to make it happen and hopefully we can still be there".
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